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After Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, Mastodon sees a flood of traffic and server slowdown

If you joined social media provider Mastodon today because of the Elon Musk-Twitter news, you’re not alone.

On Monday morning, one of Mastodon’s main servers saw a flood of user traffic, which slowed its speed. Specifically, the increase in traffic hit the mastodon.social server, which is perhaps the most popular “instance” of the decentralized social network.

“Mastodon.social is slow right now, as far as I can tell, because there are twice as many people using it at the same time as ever,” founder Eugen Rochko wrote.

The increase in traffic was significant enough that Rochko decided to temporarily remove mastodon.social from the list of communities new users can join when they sign up.

In the same post, Rochko added, “I’m working to get it going fast, but in the meantime, don’t forget to invite people to joinmastodon.org instead of directly to mastodon.social. People don’t need to be on the same server to follow you.

Mastodon has seen an increase in new users since Musk bought a stake in Twitter earlier this month. The social network works much like Twitter in terms of microblogging features. But on the infrastructure side, a big difference is the decentralized nature of Mastodon. The social network is made up of many independent servers, which operate according to their own rules, but can still interact with each other via a federated platform. As a result, Mastodon’s social networking model has been compared to how email works through various providers, such as Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail.

Midday on Monday, Rochko said he fixed the speed issue with the mastodon.social server. “I’m stressed. I just want to play Dota. But I realize it’s kind of a ‘do or die’ moment,” he added, alluding to the surge in interest users.

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Still, Mastodon still has a long way to go before it can reach the Twitter ladder. The mastodon.social server itself has only around 662,000 users while the entire federated platform is estimated at over 3.5 million. By comparison, Twitter has 217 million daily active users.

If you want to try Mastodon, check out our guide on how to get started.

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